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Legia’s defence stumbles as team falls to Odra

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Aug 2008

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The Polish Ekstraklasa finished its second round of matches on Sunday in a weekend packed with excitement and surprises.

Runners-up from last year and current UEFA Cup hopefuls, Legia Warsawa, were beaten 2-0 at Odra Wodzislaw yesterday. The scoreline could have been worse if it wasnÂ’t for the heroics of LegiaÂ’s goalkeeper Jan Mucha who needed to make a few superb saves to keep his club in the match.

Legia succumbed to sloppy defending right from the outset when in the first minute Maciej Korzym went unchallenged by Legia defenders and was allowed to waltz in and take a shot at Mucha which he parried directly to the arriving Arkadiusz Aleksander who made no mistake in finding the back of the net.

Aleksander was on target again 25 minutes later when he capped off a quick Odra counter attack. Odra dominated the game and came out deserved winners, leaving Legia with just one point from their opening two matches and much to improve on.

In Sunday’s other match, Lech Poznan continued their strong form from their 6-0 thrashing of SwitzerlandÂ’s Grasshoppers in the UEFA Cup midweek by winning away at Jagiellonia Bialystok 3-0. Colombian Manuel Arboleda got the visitors on the board with a 25th minute goal from a corner kick. On the 36th it was already 2-0 for the visitors when Piotr Reiss was brought down in the box and Semir Stilic coolly converted the resulting penalty past goalkeeper Piotr Lech. Although Jagielonia had the advantage throughout the second half, it was Lech that added to their lead with an 80th minute own goal by JagieloniaÂ’s Brazilian midfielder Everton. “Our rivals took advantage of our mistakes,” says JagieloniaÂ’s other Brazilian midfielder Hermes.

On Saturday the EkstraklasaÂ’s reigning scoring champion, Pawel Brozek, netted two goals as Wisla Krakow brushed aside Polonia Warsawa 2-0 in the nations capital. Brozek is in fine form again this season with 3 goals from the opening two matches while also netting 2 goals in European competition. The victory sends Wisla to the top of the table and gives them a huge lift after a deflating 4-0 loss to Barcelona in midweek UEFA Champions League action.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Slovenian striker Martin Fabus broke a deadlock with a 68th minute header to give Ruch Chorzow a 2-1 victory over their visitors Lechia Gdansk.

Polonia Bytom relied on a fantastic display from their goalkeeper Michal Peskovic but needed a late penalty to ensure a point in their clash against Slask Wroclaw in Bytom.

Ekstraklasa newcomers Piast Gliwice remained undefeated after an uneventful 0-0 stalemate against also undefeated GKS Belchatow. This match will go down in Polish football history as it is the first to be officiated by a Japanese referee (Yuichi Nishimura).

To kick-off the second round of matches, Cracovia rebounded from last weeks 2-0 loss to Piast Gliwice by winning by the same margin at home on Friday to LKS Lodz thanks to a pair of goals from Dariusz Pawlusinski.

Also on Friday title hopefuls Gornik Zabrze continued their poor start to the new season by losing at newly promoted Arka Gdynia by a score of 1-0.

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